Home is where the heart is and for most of us where our preparedness stash is. Should some localized or regional disaster (or worse) take place I’d like to think we would feel better about addressing that situation surrounded by what is familiar to us (read: having loads of preps and self sustaining infrastructure in place). While this does not guarantee our safety or survival it truly is a best case scenario, the opposite end of that spectrum being 1000 miles away from your home with a paperclip and pack of bubble gum if T-SHTF.
There is a sobering reality to all of this and that is the fact that being in and around home base constantly is not practical for many. Travel dictates that we need to be away from home and in some instances for months (or more) at a time. That is what I will address in this post, running split operations with the reality that you just might not be able to get back to your home and family if something bad happens.
Here’s the Setup: Split Operations
I’ve lived apart from my home, preps, family for months at a time. Usually work related, it means that we could be hours or even days away when it comes to drive time. While I’d like to believe that if something bad were to take place I’d be able to drop what I was doing and rush to my wife’s side in a flash that is simply not the reality of the situation. When living apart necessary steps must be put in place to ensure sustainability for the short and potentially long term. What does that mean? It’s like this, if the power goes out for two days because of storms have I set my wife up for success with our backup power situation? What if a snow storm cuts power and access to basic necessities for 2 weeks, will she be able to get through it with minimal stress and discomfort because of preparedness steps previously put in place and rehearsed? These are highly probable and relatively low impact events. Yet what about a truly worst case scenario which would mean us hoping to reunite at some point but being forced to make it on our own in the near term? Who truly knows how things would play out as there are so many variables but I have to be confident in the fact that I’ve done everything in my power to set both of us up for success.
Tips for Split Operations
Essentially this boils down to common sense and understanding that one cannot guarantee success for any given scenario, but putting measures (and backups) in place certainly increases one’s chances. Below are some tips that I’ve come up with over time for running split operations.
90/10: When I roll out I usually take the equivalent of 10% of my preps with me, leaving the majority back home with my wife. Those preps that I have are usually what I’d need when mobile and once I get to my destination I can supplement by purchasing new. This usually means snagging enough supplies to sit out a localized disaster for a few days or even weeks (at most). Again the majority stays back home with my wife as she would need it, it’s not practical for me to haul around and should I be able to make it back to my place I’d want all my supplies waiting on site for me.
Rehearsals: It’s one thing when I’m home and am able to do most of the heavy lifting but what about when I’m not? This is not to say that my wife isn’t perfectly capable of doing some hard labor but let’s face it, I’ve spent more time doing it and she doesn’t mind that. A perfect example would be when I was almost 1000 miles away and a storm hit knocking power out. We had rehearsed the procedure for moving the generator out, hooking it up, starting it using the choke and fuel shutoff valve and operating the transfer switch. When the time came she was able to accomplish this task and all was good. Had we not rehearsed it the task would have been exceedingly more difficult I’m sure.
Worst Case: In a worst case scenario it’s understood that we’ll simply have to make due in our own set of circumstances. That is a reality that many fail to acknowledge and as such they never prepare for it.
The Bottom Line
There are folks out there who haven’t spent so much as a weekend away from their spouse or kids, I am not one of them. If you are like me and travel for work or have to live away from your family for months at a time because of other circumstances put some thought in to your split operations plan. Set yourself and those left behind up for success with the understanding that you might not always be there for them.